Brazil’s Igor Fraga is going to have a busy schedule this year. Not only will he be defending his title in the 2019 FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championship, he’ll be duking it out on track in a full-blown open-wheel race car.
Enter the Formula Regional European Championship (FREC), a Formula 3 championship held in — you guessed it — Europe. Fraga will be joining the DR Formula by RP Motorsport team. Alongside teammate Raul Guzman, he’ll take on an eight-race calendar starting at Circuit Paul Ricard next month. The season will include some of the most famous tracks in Europe, from Monza to the Red Bull Ring.
This won’t be the 20-year-old’s first rodeo. Fraga has spent years driving professionally already, with a class win in Formula 3 Brazil and a full season in the US F2000 series last year. This will be his first competition in Europe, however. He’ll be up against stiff competition, with names like Fittipaldi (Enzo, grandson of Emerson) and Schumacher (David, son of Ralf).
Fraga’s car’s livery puts his recent esport accomplishments firmly in the spotlight. The black and blue design incorporates plenty of Gran Turismo and McLaren Shadow logos. Last November the Brazilian clinched the inaugural FIAGTC Nations Cup title in Monaco. Two months later, he proved he could handle multiple gaming platforms by winning the McLaren Shadow competition too.
This is just the latest example of how sim racing esports can lead to a go in the real thing. GT Academy may be dead, but the spirit of that project lives on in various initiatives across the globe. Fraga just happened to already win two of them!
The FREC season begins at Circuit Paul Ricard on April 14. We wish Igor the best of luck and look forward to the season.